Polling team rescued from Pomio after confrontation

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 4th, 2012

A POLLING team in Pomio was airlifted back to Kokopo after confrontation with people in the Painave area.
The people are  from central inland Pomio, on the border of East and West New Britain provinces.
Returning officer Nyros Aume confirmed that while conducting voting at Painave and Pata villages over the weekend, the officials were approached by voters who had voted in West New Britain to vote again at Painave.
Aume said they had to consider the safety of polling officers and the remoteness of the area and the fact that two of the police officers with the team were unarmed, and take the team back to Kokopo on Saturday. 
He said most of those demanding to vote again were East New Britain plantation workers in West New Britain.
The Ora and Nutuve polling booths were empty with people refusing to vote. They were either busy with customary work or their daily duties. Some said it was no use voting as they had not received any vital services in past years.
Aume said Nutuve had a little over 300 voters.
Polling started in Pomio last Monday and is expected to wind down on Thursday when Team One completes its respective areas.
He said six teams had completed polling, four teams from the hinterlands of central inland completed polling on Monday and seven teams from west Pomio Mamusi finished yesterday. 
There are 29,400 eligible voters in Pomio.
In 2007, there were 26,467.